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Identifying Toxic Friendships

Identifying Toxic Friendships

Friends can lift us up or keep us down. But, sometimes it can be hard to tell who is an uplifting, supportive and positive friend and who is a toxic friend. Sometimes the friendship becomes toxic over time and other times it has been that way from the very beginning.

Regardless, toxic friendships can be very draining and counterproductive, so it is best to end them or avoid them to begin with, if possible. To help you identify a toxic friendship, examine these 6 common toxic behaviors to find out whether or not your friendship may actually be bad for you.

1. Are They Too Emotionally Needy?

Are they always up in your face, stopping by without notice and calling you while they know you are busy? Do they seem to rely on you for everything and they seem scared to do anything alone or with others? These are emotionally needy characteristics. Likely, they do not have many other friends and want more from you than is healthy or realistic.

2. Do They Have a Bad Attitude?

Is every other sentence out of their mouth a complaint about something? Are they grumpy and pessimistic for no good reason, all the time? These are symptoms of a bad attitude. If this is their constant way of viewing the world, this can impact you as well, by negatively affecting your more optimistic outlook on life.

3. Are They a Taker, Not a Giver?

Does your friend expect the world from you, yet is unwilling to lend a hand for even the smallest favors? Do you overextend yourself and go out of your way to make life better for them and they do not even say, “Thank you?” This is a sure sign that they are a selfish taker and that they may be unable to reciprocate loving gestures, like giving.

4. Do They Put You Down?

Has your friend ever called you fat or stupid? Have they ever insulted your family, level of education or your job? Even if it is behind your back, this type of talk about you is unacceptable. No true friend would make you feel bad about yourself on purpose.

5. Are They Unstable and Unreliable?

Do you make plans in advance and they break them, with no prior notice? Do they say one thing and then do another? Do they change their mind about important things all of the time? These things are disrespectful, confusing, are signs of an inability to commit to the friendship and as a result they can cause many trust issues in the friendship.

6. Do They Keep You from Others?

Are your weekends booked solid with activities with your friend, for the 10thweekend in a row? This year, are you spending every holiday and vacation with them, again? You may be developing a co-dependent relationship with your friend, which can lead to a failure to maintain old friendships, a lack of time for romance and no real opportunities for meeting any new friends.

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